First off, a tip of the hat goes to The Unofficial Apple Weblog. They sat down and spoke with Seth Bloom from AT&T's public relations team about the details of the new plan. Here's a checklist of what you need to know:
- If you're already using an iPhone 3G or 3GS with an unlimited data plan, you get grandfathered in, even with purchase of iPhone 4
- If you go over your 2GB a month, you can add another 1GB at $10
- AT&T says that their reason for the low overhead was that they analyzed customer data and saw that 98% of users didn't touch the 2GB mark and saw an ability to give customers a break (e.g. $5 less) and apparently (thought it's not said) tax those who use the system more.
- AT&T is now offering an entry level $15/200MB a month plan on the iPhone
But that's the USA. What about across the pond? News coming in from UK provider O2 that they're dropping their 'unlimited' plan to a single GB. That's right: 1GB. You can add a GB for an additional £10 on top of an already £45 a month for a 1 year plan. This, in short, is absolutely terrible. Think about it this way: some hefty iPhone apps can range from 5MB to 10MB. Some PDFs can range from 5MB to 10MB. That means, if you're doing a lot of work e-mail, downloading PDFs, apps, drawing in data from the web inside those apps, you're going to hit the 1GB mark in less than a month.
Suddenly, AT&T's U.S. strategy doesn't look so bad compared t the O2's strategy in the UK. But you have to wonder: If AT&T's network (or even O2's) can handle the data, why not just have a completely unlimited option to appease customers, and charge up the wazoo if they really want it?
Verizon already does it. My Motorola Droid does not have a data cap. What's stopping the telcos from providing something truly unlimited, if their argument is "98% of users don't need that, so what's the big deal?"
Exactly. What is the big deal? AT&T could be making money off customers who use an unlimited plan but don't actually even hit the 6GB mark. Why not at least offer it?
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